Richmond Home

Mindfulness

Coordinators

  • Jennifer Cable
  • Monti Datta
  • Kathleen Skerrett

This proposal for Mindfulness FLC Plus reflects our desire to continue to grow as a community in practice.  In particular, we hope to make this version of the FLC welcoming to more faculty colleagues and to staff members who join us in this work.  We also aim to work collaboratively with other initiatives and models on campus.

National Healthy Minds Surveys show that student respondents report high rates of anxiety and depression.  Significant numbers of UR undergraduates and Law students meet criteria for moderate to severe depression and/or general anxiety disorder.[1]  Even higher percentages report that negative mental health has compromised their recent academic performance.  Our students experience stress that is counter-productive of learning, and the sources of stress are unevenly distributed among student populations, with minority students suffering most.  Further, less than half of student respondents meet criteria for positive mental health on The Flourishing Scale.  These aggregate data points represent personal stories of distress among many of the people we teach, and, as faculty members, we believe that commitment to inclusion and thriving requires proactive response.  

The proposed Mindfulness FLC Plus will build upon the learning and growth experienced through the Koru Mindfulness Teacher training, recently undertaken by members of our community.  This new FLC will provide an intentional community to support members in the next year as they undertake their Koru teacher development. In particular, we will experiment with a variety of models and contexts for offering Koru Basic on campus.

Given the interest from our colleagues in the Koru training, we already know that the topic of Mindfulness is one that resonates with multiple constituents across our campus. While this FLC will support those who attended the Koru training as they pursue their Koru teaching certification, we also want to engage with our entire UR community through the lens of mindfulness practices, from experienced practitioners to those entirely new to MBSR.  Teaching Mindfulness, via Koru Basic or through other mindfulness practices, will benefit students, staff, and faculty.

 

It starts within us.  We believe our proposed Mindfulness FLC Plus community advances the university’s strategic commitment to inclusive and thriving community and academic excellence  As faculty, we desire to grow in our own abilities to practice gentle yet authentic relationships with each other.  In the larger institutional context in which our human community is formed, we are aware that systemic and historical factors produce chronic distress, which in turn aggravates injurious relations that are plainly hard to redress.  For ourselves and our community, therefore, we desire to become more insightful and skilled in redressing the injurious effects of injustice.  This FLC, building upon the momentum created by the 2018-19 Mindfulness FLC, will allow us to embrace the energy from the Koru training retreat and carry it forward, supporting the work of our new Koru teachers as they share Koru across our campus and beyond.

___

[1] University of Richmond participates in the national Healthy Minds Survey.  Longitudinal data is available in confidential settings.  The public national data summary is made available herein.